After the 1-0 Test series loss against India, Sri Lanka can’t afford to repeat the same in the three-match One Day International series starting tomorrow at Dharmshala.
The series whitewash in the UAE will be in the back of incoming skipper Thisara Perera’s mind. But knowing his aggressive nature, he will expect the best out of the starting XI. Asela Gunarathne and Kusal Perera’s return will also help Thisara in his first attempt as ODI skipper.
From the Indian camp, the team will miss their skipper Virat Kohli but MS Dhoni will give them all the experience they need.
Moreover, Rohit Sharma will lead the Indian side in Kohli’s absence.
Before going to the starting XI, let’s take a quick look at the Sri Lanka ODI squad to India…
Thisara Perera (capt), Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Asela Gunaratne, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Chaturanga de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dushmantha Chameera, Sachith Pathirana, Kusal Perera.
With a couple of players coming back from injury, the Sri Lankan batting line up looks somewhat strong and similar to the side they played in the recently concluded ICC Champions Trophy in England and Wales. They comprehensively got the better of India in that series but the conditions are comparatively different in the subcontinent.
How Sri Lanka should line-up
- Upul Tharanga
- Niroshan Dickwella
- Danushka Gunathilaka
- Sadeera Samarawickrama
- Angelo Mathews
- Asela Gunaratne
- Kusal Perera
- Thisara Perera
- Akila Dhananjaya
- Suranga Lakmal
- Nuwan Pradeep.
However, if the pitch takes turn, Jeffrey Vandersay should replace Nuwan Pradeep in the starting XI. Also, if Sadeera fails to deliver, Sri Lanka can give Dhananjaya De Silva a go.
Lahiru Thirimanne is another candidate but Dhananjaya De Silva has the edge after his impressive innings in the 3rd Test in Delhi.
Thisara Perera was on top of his game against Pakistan and will look to repeat the same but India has always had the edge over Sri Lanka, especially when playing at home.
Nevertheless, records are meant to be broken so Sri Lanka should go into the first ODI with belief and a positive attitude.
Series prediction: 2-1 Sri Lanka
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